Anne Rice's Influence on Society

by Jeffery Keilholtz

Very few creative figures have influenced the Gothic genre like Anne Rice. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1941, Rice made her claim to fame as an author of Gothic fiction. In addition to her work as a writer, Rice has remained an outspoken voice on health and organized religion.

"Interview with the Vampire"

One of Anne Rice's major accomplishments was her debut novel, "Interview with the Vampire." The novel focuses on the character Louis, a vampire who thirsts for human experience. The novel, published in 1976, received wide acclaim and was the source material for a major motion picture, released in 1994, by the same name. The film starred Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and, according to the Internet Movie Database, grossed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worldwide.

"The Vampire Chronicles"

The success of "Interview with the Vampire" marked the start of a series of books Rice would release over the following two decades. "The Vampire Chronicles" -- the official name of the series -- includes titles such as "The Vampire Lestat" and "The Queen of the Damned." The power and vision of Rice's written works helped to mark a resurgence of the Gothic literature genre in popular culture. Gothic literature is marked by conventional motifs such as demons, vampires, death, family secrets and dark settings.

To Be or Not to Be Catholic

Rice lived most of her life as an atheist until, in 1988, she converted to Catholicism. Rice inspired others by supporting the faith at large -- and her belief in Jesus Christ -- by writing "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt." The novel, narrated from the perspective of Jesus, describes his life growing up Jewish. In 2010, Rice revoked her connection to religion, although publically stating she still believes in Christ. Rice stood on behalf of activists supporting gay and feminist rights and political activists when she told the "Los Angeles Times": "In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control ... I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life."

Outspoken for Health

Diabetes has become a part of Rice's life, and her willingness to speak out on behalf of those afflicted by the disease garnered attention. Rice discovered her affliction with Type I diabetes in 1998, after suffering from scathing headaches and briefly falling into a coma. As of 2011, Rice remains an ardent supporter of people to have blood sugar tests to identify diabetes at its earliest and most treatable stages.